The tradition of two people coming together by marriage is an event as old as human history. You get married, throw a party and live happily ever after… How did the traditions of the wedding cake, bridesmaids, throwing bouquets, and white wedding dresses come about? While some wedding traditions are closely related to superstition, others have surprisingly deep historical roots. Regardless, weddings and wedding traditions are still as popular today as they were thousands of years ago. We told you about the wedding traditions and dates.
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1. It is a Celtic tradition to bind the hands of a married couple.
The expression “tie the knot” dates back to a medieval wedding tradition known as the opening ceremony. In this wedding tradition, knots are tied on the hands of the couples and it is expressed that they are bound together by the marriage bond. The tradition of tying, an ancient Celtic practice, usually aims to create an unforgettable memory for the couple. This ritual, which is among the wedding traditions, is still practiced today and is usually performed outdoors.
2. The ancient Egyptians saw wedding rings as a symbol of eternity and wore them on the finger they thought was closest to the heart.
The tradition of wearing wedding rings dates back to the ancient Egyptians. The ancient Egyptians believed that a circle was a symbol of eternity. The rings they wore were made of braided reeds and were worn on their left ring finger, which is thought to have a vein leading directly to the heart. The idea of the “vein of love”, namely the ring finger, called the vena amoris, has survived to this day.
Rings continued to be a part of marriage ceremonies when the ancient Romans began using rings instead of giving bridal money or any other valuable object. Centuries later, diamonds were first used in engagement rings. Archduke Maximilian of Austria wore the first diamond engagement ring in history to his fiancee in 1477.
3. The bridal bouquet was thrown into the air to prevent people from tearing the wedding dress in medieval Europe
It was common practice in medieval Europe for single women to chase the bride and tear off pieces of her dress. A bride’s dress was seen as good luck for single women. It was thought to be a kind of fertility talisman. But over the years, the materials and labor required to make wedding dresses became more expensive, making it a tradition for women to hide their wedding dresses. As such, brides began to throw bouquets to distract them and prevent guests from tearing the dress apart. After this event, throwing a bouquet became a wedding tradition.
4. Bridesmaids wore dresses of the same color as the bride to protect her
According to some historians, the tradition for all bridesmaids to wear dresses of the same color as the bride dates back to Ancient Rome and feudal China, and was intended to keep the bride safe. At this time, it was quite common for a bride to travel to her groom’s town. This made brides an easy “target” for thugs or rival suitors! A circle of bridesmaids dressed alike made it particularly difficult for the bride to fall victim to an attack. This practice eventually became a legal requirement for the Romans. For the wedding to be considered valid in Rome, 10 witnesses, all dressed in the same colors, had to attend the wedding ceremony.
5. Groomsmen used to be adept at wielding swords
In past centuries, men kidnapped the bride-to-be if the girl’s family did not approve of the marriage. Therefore, the groom had to be ready for a sword fight to prevent anyone from taking the bride-to-be. The best man had to protect the groom and “fight” with him in any situation. For this reason, the best man was chosen based on his sword fighting ability.
6. Victorian brides wore and wore some objects
“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in your shoe”. This rhyme describes the objects that a bride should have on her wedding day to bring luck. This tradition, which began in the Victorian era, still continues today.
Back then, the “blue thing” was often a garter, used to protect the bride from a curse that could render her sterile. “Something borrowed” was underwear from a woman with a child. “Six pence in your shoes” symbolized prosperity for the new couple.
7. Queen Victoria inspired the practice of white wedding dresses
Before Queen Victoria’s wedding ceremony in 1841, brides wore dresses of different colors that they could re-wear on other occasions. 20-year-old Victoria chose to wear white to accentuate the delicate lace of her dress. Although rare, some women before Victoria wore white to show off their wealth. The white dress showed that the bride’s family could have the dress cleaned! Victoria asked that no one but her bridesmaids wear white at the wedding, and she started a trend that is still in practice today.
8. After the wedding, the groom would throw the bride’s garter to the curious crowd to prove he was with the bride.
The tradition of the groom removing the bride’s garter and throwing it at the wedding guests goes back centuries. However, the current practice is very different from the old one. According to WeddingWire Senior Editor Kim Forrest: “In ancient times, newlyweds were expected to consummate their marriage (have sexual intercourse) soon after the wedding. Family members and friends would wait outside their room to make sure this happened. After the marriage was over, the groom would throw the bride’s garter into the waiting crowd to prove they were together.”
Although this practice, which is among the wedding traditions, continues in some countries, we say that it is not common. 🙂
9. The veil was used to hide the bride’s facial features in the past.
The origins of the bridal veil, which is among the common wedding traditions today, can be traced back to Ancient Rome. In ancient times, brides wore veils as they walked down the aisle to hide themselves from evil spirits who wanted to steal their happiness. For this reason, women would not remove their veils until the marriage ceremony was successfully completed.
According to wedding historian Susan Wagoner, the veil represented the birth of a humble and “untouched” virgin as well as warding off unwanted spirits! The veil was also used in arranged marriages to hide the bride’s face from the groom. Thus, the groom could not see the bride’s face until the marriage was sealed.
10. The origins of the wedding cake can be traced back to Ancient Rome
The tradition of making a special cake at a wedding dates back to Ancient Rome. The ancient Romans would crumble a muffin-like wheat or barley cake on the bride’s head to bring good luck and fertility at the end of the wedding. The newlyweds ate a few crumbs together as husband and wife, and this is considered one of their first joint acts as a married couple.